How much longer are we going to sit around reflecting on the "potentially exciting learning and teaching tools" social media affords us before we actually check it out and examine what the impact might be in our schools. While I fully understand the desire, as well as the need to protect kids from the evils of the internet, are we not doing them a disservice by not teaching them how to use social media appropriately and safely. It's kind of like not talking about sex for fear of encouraging promiscuity. We all know how well that works. By educating our kids, we may in fact prevent some of the slimy stories we hear in the press. Kids, even those in elementary schools, are more social media savvy than we may want to give them credit for. Who is teaching them how to use these "potentially exciting learning and teaching tools?" Their friends? Scary! Their parents? Maybe. What is our role as educators in helping kids manage the digital world that surrounds them? Are some kids going to make mistakes, push the limits, see what they can get away with? Absolutely, but why hold back the overwhelming majority who won't. Shouldn't the folks that sit at home for hours on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Pintrist be willing to give their kids the same access?
It's a complex issue, no doubt, but we are teachers. We can figure out how to do just about anything we set our minds to. Our kids are counting on us. If not us, who? Their friends?
Here is some food for thought in an article written by Eamon O'Donovan in District Administrator: